OPPORTUNITIES WITH ESOS
By 5th December this year, all businesses in the UK employing over 250 people or with a turnover in excess of €50m (which the British Government has set at £38,937,777 for this year), together with an annual balance sheet total in excess of 43 million euro (£33,486,489), will have to conduct an energy audit, identify possible savings and register on the Energy Saving Opportunity Scheme (ESOS).
This is driven by a new piece of European legislation, and is mandatory, affecting over 9000 large organisations. Worryingly, many of these large companies have not yet taken action to meet the deadline, and seem unaware of the benefits that could accrue from reviewing their energy usage and taking action to become more efficient.
There are likely to be problems as December approaches, with the limited supply of energy assessors (less than 500 at the last count) leading to companies scrambling to get their energy audits completed in time. The pressure of demand for Lead Assessors could potentially drive costs up, giving early adopters of the scheme a clear advantage. The audits can take up to 3 months to complete once the data has been collated, which in itself can be a complex and time consuming task. The audit then has to be repeated every four years, so this scenario could be repeated unless businesses wake up to the logistics of the process.
Another issue that has been identified in a recent poll carried out by business energy consultants, Inenco, is a lack of engagement by senior managers. This is hardly surprising, given the weight of regulatory requirements already in place, and the fact that this could easily be viewed as just another piece of unwanted red tape coming out of Europe.
The industry should be highlighting the fact that this legislation is already in place, that it must be complied with, and that there is a timescale issue. More to the point, it should be talking to large organisations about how it can help. Rather than viewing ESOS as yet another cost and drain on resources added to the requirements of the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme and Climate Change Levy, it should be taken as an opportunity to save costs and reduce carbon over the long term, creating a positive impact on these other requirements at the same time.
For example, upgrading an outdated heating system with a Biomass boiler could reduce carbon emissions, reduce energy usage through greater efficiency, reduce costs in the long term and could even generate income through the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI).
ESCo - FREE BOILER for higher energy users
If capital outlay is perceived to be an issue, new boilers can also be installed under an Energy Supply Contract, or ESCO (not to be confused with ESOS). ESCOs are particularly suited to high energy users. Anybody currently on oil or LPG using over 450k kilowatt hours of heating energy per annum would make significant cost savings, with a fully funded and maintained boiler to boot.
Like it or not, ESOS is here to stay, and is mandatory for large organisations. The whole purpose of the scheme is to drive greater efficiencies and save energy – surely something that every business should welcome in order to support sustainable growth. Treating it as a tick box exercise defeats the object and simply adds to the burden of management. By raising awareness, highlighting opportunities and positioning the scheme in a positive light, the renewables industry can help to shape strategy, drive custom, and ultimately benefit all parties.
For further information please contact:
Tel: 0845 070 7338
Efficient new biomass boilers can be supplied and maintained by Wood Energy, with no upfront capital cost, thanks to ESCOs.
Upgrading an outdated heating system with a Biomass boiler could reduce carbon emissions, energy usage and costs in the long term.